August 17, 1979
Scans of original transcript
Webmaster note:Directly after the testimony of Helena Stoeckley on August 17, 1979, six witnesses testified on voir dire, in the absence of the jury and alternates, per the bench discussions shown at the end of Stoeckley's testimony. William Posey was the sixth and last of these witnesses to testify.
(Whereupon, WILLIAM EDWARD POSEY was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)
D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 3:03 p.m.
BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Posey, did you know Helena Stoeckley in 1970?
A Yes; I did.
Q Where did you live and where did she live?
A I lived right next door to her.
Q What street was that?
Q Do you remember the evening or early morning hours of February 17, 1970?
A Yes; I do.
Q Anything unusual happen that morning that attracted your attention?
A Well, I had got up to go to the rest room somewhere around 4:00 o'clock, and I heard a car whip into the driveway next door, and a lot of laughter and stuff going on, and I walked to the door to see what was going on.
Two of the girls -- there was three of them that lived together in the apartment. You know, they had the front door there, and Helena was coming from the car, you know -- headed towards the apartment. And the car backed out.
Q Okay; you say two girls were in the apartment?
Q Helena was not one of those girls?
A No; she was coming from the car.
Q Do you know what kind of car that was?
A I know it was a Mustang, you know.
Q Do you remember what color it was?
A It was blue.
Q Let me show you a catalogue piece which has been previously marked as Defendant Exhibit 88, provided by the Ford Motor Company in 1970. It depicts a number of models of Mustang. Do you recognize any of those cars as being the car?
(Defendant Exhibit 88 was marked for identification.)
A The one circled.
Q The one circled is Mustang Mach Number One. As a matter of fact, you have seen this particular diagram before, have you not?
A Yeah; years ago.
Q Years ago -- in 1970, when you testified at the Article 32 proceeding?
A (Witness nods affirmatively.)
Q The car depicted here you say resembles the Mustang you saw in the driveway that evening?
A Yes (witness nods affirmatively).
Q Was there anything in particular about that episode that stood out in your mind besides the car pulling up and Helena getting out?
A Well, it was unusual for them to be painting the apartment at that time, but she acted like she was in a hurry to get inside. She kind of walked real fast getting inside.
Q How long had you lived next door to Helena at that point?
A About two or three months.
Q Did she wear any kind of special clothing that you were aware of?
A Yes; she wore a white hat all the time -- you know -- it was part of her, you know, character.
Q Let me show you a picture that has been marked D-87 and ask whether this looks familiar in any way?
Q You say "yes"? Does that look like the hat she was wearing?
Q You have to keep your voice up, please?
Q Did she wear anything else regularly as part of her clothing?
A She wore a purple-type shirt and she wore white boots a lot. I don't know what type they are but she wore high-topped white boots, you know, kind of like they were real shiny, like patent leather-type things.
Q You have seen her in the last two days around court, haven't you?
Q Her hair is pitch black, I believe?
Q Did you ever see her when her hair was any other color?
A Yeah; her hair used to be longer and she used to be a lot skinnier than what she is now; and she used to have burgundy [sic] hair but she wore a blonde wig a lot, you know. She had a wig she wore quite a bit.
Q And what length was that wig?
A Down to about right here.
Q A little above shoulder length?
Q Did you learn about the murders that took place at Fort Bragg involving the MacDonald family; did you hear about that?
A Yes, the next day.
Q Did you have occasion to see or talk to Helena Stoeckley in connection with those murders at that time or any time shortly thereafter?
A A couple of days later I did.
Q Tell us about that, please?
A Well, Paul Bowman lived in the apartment right behind hers. You know, hers was like in the back of a big house and his was a separate little apartment; and he had a telephone and I used to use his telephone, you know, to make long distance calls and stuff.
And at the first of the momth I would, you know, pay him for the calls and stuff. Well, he had got out of the service and he was going back to Oklahoma City, and I owed him for some telephone calls, and he came up one afternoon.
And I saw him out there and I went out there to talk to him, you know, about paying him for the calls. Well, Paul was a friend of Helena's, and we were standing there talking, and he said that the police had questioned Helena about her whereabouts.
And I said, "Well, I saw her that morning," you know. I said, "I could be an alibi for her," because I had seen when she come in that morning, you know.
Q Was she around when you made that statement?
A She walked -- you know, she walked up and was talking with us, you know.
Q What, if anything, did she say or do when you made the statement that you had seen her come up that morning and you could be her alibi for her?
A Well, she kind of -- you know, the word to use -- backed off from me. You know, she kind of -- you know, they had to leave then. They wanted to leave. They didn't talk no more.
Q Did you talk any more at that time with Helena about the murders?
Q Were you aware of the time when the MacDonald funerals took place over at Fort Bragg?
A Well, I didn't know, you know, exactly what day, you know, that it happened; but my wife and I -- we were going somewhere one day, and Helena was dressed in a solid black dress, you know, a long one. And she had a black thing over her face.
Q You mean a veil?
A Yeah; and she went and got some wreaths like you see at a graveyard, and placed them along by her door and stuff; and she was setting there like she was crying all day, you know.
Q Sitting where?
A By her door; by her front door. And that evening on the news it showed Dr. MacDonald in his uniform and it said that he had just come from the funeral thing; you know, they had had services that day.
Q Did you talk to Helena about why she was sitting there in black?
A No, she wouldn't talk to nobody. Her boyfriend come up in the afternoon, and was trying to get her to go ff; and, you know, they got in a big argument because she wouldn't leave. She just sat there real quiet like all day.
Q At some point thereafter, did you talk to her about whether she was involved in the murders at the MacDonald house?
A Yeah, I talked to her -- well, she left shortly after that, and I didn't see her no more for a while; and then about two days before I testified I went to Haymount.
I had already talked to you and you wanted to know what her name was -- her full name -- and I didn't know what her full name was, so I went to Haymount to try to find out.
You know, I knew that people up there knew her and I could find out her name. Well, when I went up there she was there, you know. Haymount's a section of town that everybody hung out in; and I talked to her then, and, you know, I'd asked her where she had been and everything, and she said, "Just around."
And I asked -- you know, we started talking about the murder and everything, and we got into that.
Q And what did she say about the MacDonald murders?
A Well, when you talked to her -- it is like -- one -- I don't know how to say it -- one minute she's with you -- you know, like in a normal conversation; then the next minute she's, you know, she was referring back to the murder.
You know, like she said that all she did, you know, was like hold the light; you know, that she didn't -- she wouldn't kill anybody because she wasn't a hostile person, you know.
Q What about this light she was talking about?
A Holding the light would be the only thing she would do, you know. But she -- you know, if I said something to the reference that some policemen had seen them that morning, and she named the street, you know -- Honeycutt -- said that, you know, yes, she remembered, you know.
But it was like one minute she was there, you know, at the thing; then the next minute she was drifting back.
Q Back where you were?
A (Witness nods affirmatively.)
Q Now, did she ever talk to you about seeing anything inside of any of the bedrooms in that house?
A She said that there was a kid's horse thing, but it wouldn't -- it wouldn't roll. It would just stay still. It wouldn't roll, you know.
Q It was a hobby horse thing?
A Yeah, like, you know, like a little kid has, you know.
Q Yes; what did she say about that?
A It wouldn't move; you know, it wouldn't --
A No. It wouldn't roll, you know; it was broke or something, it wouldn't move.
Q And when you talked to her about the house, did she say anything else that she remembered seeing there or any other thing that she remembered doing there?
Q Do you know whom that blue Mustang belonged to?
A No, I didn't know the guy's name, but, you know, I know what he looked like.
Q Who was that person -- that is without his name? Was that somebody that Helena Stoeckley was connected with?
A Yeah, it was a friend of hers.
Q Had you seen that blue Mustang at the house before on other occasions?
A Yes, sir.
Q What is the last thing you ever said to Helena Stoeckley?
A The last occasion in Fayetteville?
A That's right.
Q I asked her what she did with her hat and boots and, you know, stuff; and she said she had got rid of them, you know.
But she kept -- the whole conversation -- two or three times during the conversation, she kept asking me -- you know, I told her I had moved, you know; and she kept asking me what my new address was.
And I told her that, you know, the reason I had moved -- that it was getting too rough in there; and she kept asking me over and over what my address was.
And when I was leaving the last thing she said to me was, "Tell your wife to lock the door," that "I'll be by to see you."
Q Was that said in jest or in seriousness as far as you could tell?
A To me, it was serious because it was like one minute, Helena was with you, and I don't know, it was like she was in another world the next minute, but I took it as serious; yeah. I didn't give her my real address.
Q You saw Helena yesterday when she was here in the Courthouse; did you not?
Q Was that the first time since August of 1970, that you have seen her?
Q Say "yes" or "no."
Q When you walked into the room -- the conference room where we were sitting, what was the first thing that was said between you and Helena Stoeckley?
A You asked her if she knew me and she said, "Yes, that is Bill Posey. I told you to lock your doors and I would be by to see you." That is the last thing she said to me. Then, yesterday, after not seeing her all these years, that was the first thing she said to me.
Q Now, did anything happen back in August of 1970, to give you concern about not letting out your address?
A Well, my wife and I and her mother and husband, we went out to eat. Well, we had a cat and we had locked the cat inside the house, and I had a Doberman Pinscher. When we came back, my cat was outside, you know, wanting to go inside with us. I looked at Myra, which was my wife, and said, "We locked the cat inside. What is he doing outside," you know, and we stopped there and we went back out and on the side of the house, the first window going into the bedroom, you could see where somebody had opened it, you know, and went in that way.
We didn't go in the house. We went and got the police, you know, and they come up there and searched through it -- searched through my house and everything.
Q Did Helena Stoeckley ever talk to you about being involved in witchcraft?
Q Did she tell you that she was, herself, involved in witchcraft?
A She was a good witch.
Q That is what she said?
A (Witness nods affirmatively.)
Q Was she ever involved in any rituals involving animals?
A Paul Bowman, to which I referred to a while ago, his wife -- I can't remember her name now -- but she was more or less the head of them. She was a witch, you know. She said she was a witch. They had a bunch of books on witchcraft. Like one time, my wife's sister and her boyfriend had a big fight -- dispute. They went out in the woods and dug up herbs and spices to make them a love potion --
Q (Interposing) I have got to ask you, Mr. Posey, did it work?
A They were married.
Q One last question, Mr. Posey, did Helena Stoeckley ever conduct any ritual involving a cat?
A Yeah. They had a thing one time where they had like a seance-type thing and they crucified -- well, I don't know -- they killed a cat for part of their ritual thing or whatever it was.
MR. SEGAL: cross-examine.
C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N 3:16 p.m.
BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Mr. Posey, I believe you testified at the Article 32; did you not?
A Yes, sir; the Government thing.
Q The military proceedings?
A Yes, sir.
Q When that was taking place in 1970, you were working at the Heart of Fayetteville Motor Inn; is that correct?
A No, sir.
Q Where were you working?
A When the crime happened?
Q No, when the Article 32, the military proceeding?
A I was working for Fayetteville Linen. It is a linen company.
Q You had occasion to go to the Heart of Fayetteville Motor Inn; is that right?
A Yes; we delivered linen.
Q You saw Mr. Segal and Mr. Eisman at that time there?
A No. I had called, you know, they had a hotline in Fayetteville where you call and you ask them about if you have got a problem or something and it comes out in the paper and they answered it. Well, I had called the hotline, you know, and told them what I knew, and if I should, you know, go forth with my information. So one day, we were there and the man that was showing the route and everything had mentioned that Mr. Eisman and Mr. Segal were staying there. I just decided to go forth and tell them what I knew.
Q And you did that?
A Yes, sir.
Q You never told the law enforcement agency, though, did you?
A No, sir. After I talked to Mr. Segal, there was a military man that came to my job one day and talked to me.
Q He did?
A Yes, sir; kind of a tall guy.
Q Do you recall that person's name?
A He was at the military hearing.
Q Could it have been Lieutenant Malley?
A He was a tall man. I can't remember if that was his name, though. He was on the, you know, prosecuting side.
Q Captain Malley?
A That might have been.
Q Did you ever recall being told by anyone prior to your testimony at the Article 32 that there was a reward being offered by anyone for testimony relating to this?
A They had mentioned it; yes.
Q Who mentioned it?
A Well, I had read about it in the paper and then -- if it was Mr. Eisman or not that mentioned it -- but the day that I talked to Mr. Segal, I told him that I was not interested in the reward money -- that I was not there for that.
Q Now, the night that it happened or that you say that you went to the window --
A (Interposing) I went to my front door.
Q Do you recall whether or not she was wearing the hat?
A No. She didn't have the hat on. She had something in her hand.
Q You didn't see her hat?
MR. SEGAL: Let him finish. I OBJECT, Your Honor.
MR. BLACKBURN: I thought he was through. Finish your answer, by all means.
THE WITNESS: She was in a hurry to get to the door. No, I did not see her with a hat on that morning, but I know she had a purple vest and stuff on.
BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Did she have a sheet on or anything like that?
A I didn't see her with a sheet; no.
Q Isn't it true that Helena has told you during that time that she was on drugs and did not know where she had been at that time?
A Yeah. She said she was tripping that night; yes, sir.
Q She didn't know where she had been?
A No. She said that she didn't know where she had been.
Q That was one of the reasons you suggested that you could perhaps give her an alibi, because you had seen her?
A I had seen her that morning; yes.
Q Now, isn't it true that with respect to "pigs" -- the term "pigs" -- that Helena had always told you that she called the police "pigs"?
A Yeah. Well, in the section, you know, like when people back then referred to "pigs," it didn't necessarily mean policemen, but it meant people in society -- the Establishment -- however you refer to it.
Q Has Helena ever told you that she was in the MacDonald apartment?
A She never point-blank said that she was in the apartment, but she did say like one minute like I was explaining a while ago, one minute, she would be in a normal conversation and then the next minute she would be like she was right there. But like she told me about trying to ride the toy and like she said about holding the light and things like that.
Q She told you that she held the light?
A She said, you know, that she would hold the light, but she wouldn't kill nobody because she wasn't a hostile --
Q (Interposing) I am sorry -- are you through?
A Yes, sir.
Q Isn't it true that she said that that would have been what she would have done if she had been there, because she couldn't kill anybody?
A I don't know how to answer that. She never said it like you just said it -- I mean like she said -- she never said, "If I had been there, that is what I would have done." She didn't say it like that.
Q Tell us what she did say.
A She would say that like --
Q (Interposing) Let me make it easier for you. Did she ever suggest to you that she could have been holding the light?
Q Is that a fair statement?
A That is the way.
Q Isn't it true that she said to you that she could not have killed anyone?
A Yeah. She would emphasize that she did not have hostile tendencies.
Q Did she seem concerned to you that she did not know where she had been during that time period?
A You know, what I never understood was that like when she talked to me, she would be concerned that she didn't know where she was; but then like the day that they had the funeral service and everything, she mourned all day, you know -- I couldn't understand.
Q You said she wore black, I believe?
A She wore a long black dress and a thing over her face. She had them flowers.
Q Do you recall reading anything in the newspaper about a child's hobby horse in connection with this crime?
A No. She mentioned that to me the night out by Haymount. I had never read that.
Q Now, the time when you went to the door, did you happen to look at the clock to see what time it was?
A Yeah. I got up to go to the bathroom, you know, I have a -- I don't know if it is a habit or what, but for the longest I can remember, about 4:00, 4:30, or 5:00 o'clock, I get up and go to the bathroom. I mean, I do it all the time, you know. See, let me explain something. The reason that I went to the door to look out -- we were having trouble with people blocking our driveways and stuff like this. Like a couple of mornings I got up to go to work and there would be people staying over there and they would have our driveway blocked and they would have, you know -- they partied all the time and it was just, you know, you couldn't get any rest.
Q How long after you testified at the Article 32 did you remain in the Fayetteville area?
A Only a couple of days.
Q You left rather quickly?
Q Do you recall being given $150 by Lieutenant Malley when you left?
A It was between $100 and $150; yes.
Q Did you know that he was a friend of Dr. MacDonald's; is that correct?
A No. All I knew was that he was with the military. That is all. That was for moving expenses, you know, that is all.
Q Do you recall ever talking to Mr. Brisentine?
A Who is he?
Q Prior to yesterday?
A I don't know who you are talking about.
Q He's the tall fellow -- the tall thin fellow with sort of silvery hair. He has been here this afternoon. Do you recall seeing him prior?
A One man that I have seen before, yeah, years ago.
Q Do you recall ever telling Mr. Brisentine in the past that perhaps you were mistaken as to the night you saw Helena?
MR. BLACKBURN: No further questions.
MR. SMITH: Any questions for the court?
MR. SEGAL: Just on your redirect very briefly to clarify a matter, Your Honor. May I?
R E D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N
BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Posey, you said that very shortly after you testified at the military proceeding that you left Fayetteville, is that right?
A They broke into my house, you know; somebody broke into my house; and when the police came, in my bedroom, there was a knife behind the door. It was -- oh, never mind.
Q Were you scared?
A Yeah, I was scared.
Q Where did you move to after you left?
A My home, Alabama.
Q Did you feel that the episode at your home was in any way related to the fact that you had testified at the military proceedings?
A Well, that night when John and all of us went to the police there was a dirt alley about a block and a half from our house.
Jim, one of the guys that used to come over to Helena's, was in his yellow Plymouth sitting right there. We went down to the police station. He was right behind us following us down there, you know.
So I felt like I wasn't safe there, you know.
Q What did you use the $150.00 for?
A To get a moving truck, you know; rent one of them U-Haul trucks to move with.
Q You moved down to Alabama?
Q Do you live there now?
A Yes, sir.
MR. SEGAL: Thank you very much.
THE WITNESS: I had a good job going and everything, too.
MR. SEGAL: You left a good job in Fayetteville?
(Witness nods affirmatively.)
MR. SEGAL: Thank you, Mr. Posey.
Webmaster note:The original stenographer's misspelling of Myer was corrected to Myra in this transcript.